Eastern US

Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC

For young children, a ride on a carousel’s painted pony, a spin with dad around the bumper car track and a dripping swirl of frozen custard are the stuff summer memories are made of. No need to seek out the latest scary high-tech roller coasters (which means you can cross Luna Park's most scary rides off your list).

Rides that look mild (or frankly, downright boring) to big people usually provide just the right amount of thrills for toddlers and preschoolers. Happily, there are a number of amusement parks and water parks in and near New York City that offer these kinds of tame attractions. Here's our roundup of theme parks that are perfect for the pint-sized.

Summer Weekend Getaways for Families Just 3 Hours From NYC

Thinking about a last-minute Memorial Day weekend getaway with the family? Or plotting an escape with the kids when school comes to an end in late June? With a slew of kid-friendly escapes just a few hours from New York City, the hardest part could be deciding whether you want a woodsy outdoor adventure, a quiet beach town, an island escape or a historical expedition. Here are four picks for a weekend of fun, all less than three hours from NYC by car.

You can find more travel inspiration in our Day Trips Guide and on our US Travel Guide.

Best Water Theme Parks Near NYC for Families

While there are no full-fledged water theme parks in NYC (yet), you don't have to go too far to find some awesome ones. We've rounded up 13 of our favorites for kids in the tristate area, mostly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and all are less than a two-hour drive from Midtown Manhattan. No two are alike: Each one offers different experiences and thrills.

For more water fun, check out these toddler-friendly water parks and year-round indoor water parks near NYC.

7 Must-Do Long Island Day Trip Ideas for Families

For those of us lucky enough to live on Long Island (especially during the summer months), there’s plenty of time to explore everything our beautiful home has to offer. But for families who might be coming in for just a few days, it's essential to make the most of your time here. With that in mind, we’ve come up with our top seven must-see locations for those taking a quick trip to Long Island.

Exploring these places—and we've included both indoor and outdoor fun so you don't have to worry about the weather—will leave you making plans for another visit ASAP. And for more to do in the area, be sure to check out our Events Calendar and Long Island Spring Fun Guide.

11 Best US Aquariums for Your Next Family Vacation

A visit to a top-notch aquarium is a great way for kids to explore the secrets of the sea. New York tristate families are blessed with an array of regional aquariums. The New York Aquarium in Coney Island that's undergoing a renovation, the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead and the Adventure Aquarium with its new Shark Bridge in Camden are fine day trips.

If you’re looking for really fabulous odes to underwater environments and sea life that are simultaneously entertaining and educational, we’ve found them, from a 28-foot-tall kelp forest to a jellyfish invasion. The following 11 aquariums up the aquatic ante and are so worth the trip.

12 New Theme and Water Park Rides and Thrills Near New York

If summertime means theme and water park fun and roller coaster thrills for your family, then you’ll want to check out what’s new for the 2016 season at some of our favorite amusement parks in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.

While the recent cool spring temps along the East Coast have put a hold on opening day for some amusement parks, others are already open for junk food eating, coaster screams and arcade fun. We found two brand-new roller coasters and more little kid friendly fare like a five-slide complex and new home for Jersey dinosaurs in our search across parks in the greater New York City area, including Coney Island’s Luna Park, and a bit beyond, like Six Flags in New Jersey and Edaville’s Thomas Land in Massachusetts to round up more than a dozen new rides, features and thrills for summer 2016.

Read on for all the details, including height requirements and expected opening dates.

Staying (Somewhat) Local for Spring Break: 3 New England Family Getaways

Spring break is fast-approaching and while the lure of warmer climates can be strong, a trip somewhere far away may not be in the cards. That doesn’t mean you can’t get away at all, though. Whether you travel near or far, there are many places right here in New England to have a memorable spring break as a family. We’ve rounded up three somewhat local spring break destinations that pack in the fun without breaking the bank. If you can’t get away overnight, check out our guide to great day trip destinations.

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